Infrastructure finance

In this issue

Investing in infrastructure could boost the economy but investors still need to be convinced

Big schemes need big money

Investing in infrastructure could boost the economy but investors still need to be convinced

Interactive and video

Blueprint for British Business
A look at the decade taken to regenerate the formerly deprived area around one of London’s main transport hubs
An analysis of the UK’s most ambitious projects and proposals

Economics: Time to get to work

Projects are needed that can start now, not ones that need time on the drawing board

Urban regeneration: Long-term solutions in a flattened economy

The success of a number of national projects could set an example for many regional companies and provide a much-needed stimulus

Energy: Breath of fresh air

The UK must exploit natural advantages

Investment: Shovel-ready projects needed

The government’s infrastructure requires public as well as private sector money

Financing: Cementing the road to recovery

Projects that look simple on paper are much more complicated in reality

Opinion: More co-ordination needed in road, rail and air

Only a coherent plan can break down the barriers between each area of transport, writes Maria Eagle

Industry views

Executives and directors talk about infrastructure finance

Part four: International trade and exports

Britain in need of an export booster

UK companies will have to sell more overseas to prosper

Trade initiatives: Helping hands to sell abroad

Government financing and other services for exporters have had a mixed reception

Video: British business eyes export boost

With weak growth at home, UK companies are being encouraged to lift exports – for their own sake as well as that of the economy

Supply chains: Focus on fixing the weakest links

Disasters such as the Japanese tsunami highlight the importance of protecting your supply chain, says Paul Solman

Economics: Euro woes mount

UK exporters will have to be patient

Eurozone crisis: Steps to safety

Companies must get used to continued uncertainty

Emerging markets: Navigating a path towards new horizons

Doing business with developing countries is potentially lucrative, but hurdles should not be underestimated

Interactive: The UK’s export hot spots

The government has identified 17 economies for UK companies to target for trade growth

Opinion: Africa offers huge consumer market potential

The continent is increasingly the UK’s customer, rather than vice versa, writes Zin Bekkali

Industry views

Executives and directors talk about international trade and exports

Part three: Risk management

Uncertain climate hinders plans

Companies that are unable to quantify risks are holding back on investment, writes Brian Groom

Political risk: Dealing in the danger zone

Security and politics add to the complexity of investing in volatile regions, says Tony Levene

Insurance principles: Hurdles towards insurer harmony

Several directives are in the works to harmonise the inconsistent approaches across jurisdictions, finds Alistair Gray

Technology: Under the cloud

Monitoring risk requires information technology upgrades, says Philip Stafford

Commodity prices: High-flying oil kings

Raw material prices could become a big risk factor, finds Tony Levene

The eurozone: Dodging the falling stars

Companies prepare for the worst if the EU crisis deepens, finds Paul Solman

Interactive: Drivers of risk management

Strategic long-term decisions have to be taken when making infrastructural changes to an organisation

Video: Manufacturers take stock of risk

In turbulent times manufacturers face challenges at every turn. John Murray Brown reports from Birmingham on what companies there are doing to mitigate risk

Opinion: The case for having investment boundaries

Trading freedom is fine in a healthy market but is disastrous in a crash, writes Guy Hands

Industry views

Executives and directors talk about risk management

Part two: Finance and capital markets

The middle is still the safest bet

Mid-cap companies are doing well despite economic turmoil but are in danger of being overlooked, says Sharlene Goff

Case study: Oxford Instruments

The old adage that banks are only keen to lend money to people who do not need it seems to apply in spades to the company, writes Paul Solman

Government initiatives: Charting a choppy course

Jim Pickard writes that the state has introduced a number of pro-business schemes, with limited success

Capital markets: Raising expectations

Companies are looking for funding alternatives to bank loans, writes Robin Wigglesworth

Asset-based finance: Follow the money

Paul Solman explores an alternative type of funding that is popular in the US but has a low UK profile

Economics: An optimistic outlook

Jonathan Moules finds that when the going gets tough, mid-sized companies perform better than others

Opinion: We must tackle the funding gap

Those businesses that are struggling to maintain growth are finding it very hard indeed to raise capital, says René Carayol

Technology companies: The funding road less travelled

Three companies describe the sometimes unorthodox routes they took to secure finance, writes Maija Palmer

Video: How mid-sized business may flourish

Cash is king for UK plc

Two Manchester-based companies find how good capital management is more vital than ever

Interactive graphic: UK corporate cash

Since the start of the last decade the amount being held by UK businesses has almost quadrupled to more than £700bn today

Part one: Cash management and liquidity

Access denied

UK companies are sitting on £754bn in currency and deposits, as they hold back on investment decisions